Just now Katty Kay announced on the television that in Damascus the four children and the school bus driver, casualties in a clash between rebel forces and the Syrian army, were laid to rest today. I felt my throat constrict and dilate in tiny painful spasms. It was only a matter of seconds that I would feel my tears. My heart was trembling at yet another loss of life. I mean of course it happens every minute somewhere, death, but to be ripped off of this earth so violently … it’s horrifying to me on the other side of the screen, another world away. I walked in to my room, knelt and prayed.
I think that after a while of watching the news that one can become desensitized to the brutality of war, but that’s not true. I can’t speak for anyone else but for me to a point I can ignore it. What has it to do with me? Oh how it would have been easier if I were more selfish but I’m not that heartless, I hope I’m not. Every news update, every breaking news builds up like bits and pieces of rubble into a heap just waiting for the last speck to tip the whole thing over my head.
Then there’s this typhoon that ravaged the Philippines. We all knew what it looks like over there – no, no not really we’ve only snatched a glimpse. No five minute video footage could ever voice the trauma and hopelessness of a people who’ve had everything that’s mattered snatched from them, and no one person or persons to blame but the temperamental elements. I’m not going to further expound, I don’t have the right to.
Turn to any news channel and you’ll see bulletins on the damage of the disasters, natural and man made, it makes me want to numb over and feel everything all at the same time. And here I sit, for the life of me not understanding the sense of the saying ‘all is fair in love and war’. Innocent people lose their lives every single day, what’s fair in that? A little boy leaves for the market somewhere in the middle east, only to have his fragile body returned to a grieving mother, lifeless after a shot in the chest, a ruby poppy in the flesh. What’s effing fair? Forget love, in war … nothing is fair. Nothing! Nothing what-so-freaking-ever!
My tears can’t help them, I don’t have enough money to contribute to relief. All I can offer is my heartfelt sorrow and a sliver of hope. I hold it in my hands and blow it gently out of the window, wishing it would reach some one who desperately needs compassion. In vain? No, I don’t believe so, anything is possible.
I live in a third world country that perches on the upper edge of South America, where most people have coconut trees in their backyards and the air, one of the cleanest. Where the skies can be so blue that it hurts to look at it on most days. I live on the coast where we’re God knows how many kilometers below sea level. The only major threat is a tsunami. Flash floods we get every rainy seasons in the really bad areas. From time we get tremors from the islands, that’s it. Things could be better but given the atrocities running rampant elsewhere, we have it good.
We are living the life, despite the remaining mud dams and pot hole riddled roads. I’m happy with my peaceful life, a reality that exists only as distant dreams in men, woman, and children in war zones and swollen lands smelling of death and misery half the globe away. I’m happy I’m alive.